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NASCAR driver Jason Leffler dies in dirt car event

Published On: Jun 12 2013 09:12:56 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2013 07:26:21 AM MDT
Jason Leffler

NASCAR

NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died Wednesday after he crashed his car at the Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey, NASCAR said.

He was 37.

Leffler was taking part in "Night of Wings," a 25-lap event for sprint cars with a $7,000 prize. The race was not a NASCAR-sponsored event.

Sprint cars are high-powered cars that usually run on dirt or paved oval tracks.

"NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening," NASCAR said in a statement. "For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed."

In March, another crash involving a sprint car killed two people at Marysville Raceway Park, outside Sacramento, California.

Soon after Leffler's death was announced, condolences poured in from fellow drivers.

"Deeply saddened by the passing of @JasonLeffler tonight. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers," tweeted Kyle Bush.

Another driver, Bobby Labonte, said in a Twitter post, "Lost a good guy tonight in Jason Leffler. Prayers with your family!"

"My thoughts and prayers are with Jason's family and friends," Jeff Burton posted. "Breaks my heart thinking of his little boy."